This paper presents the first experimental evidence that the polarimetric brightness temperatures of sea surfaces are sensitive to ocean wind direction in the incidence angle range of 30 to 50 degrees. Our experimental data were collected by a K-band (19.35 GHz) polarimetric wind radiometer (WINDRAD) mounted on the NASA DC-8 aircraft. A set of aircraft radiometer flights was successfully completed in November 1993. We performed circle flights over National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) moored buoys deployed off the northern California coast, which provided ocean wind measurements. The first WINDRAD flight was made on November 4, 1993. There was clear weather with a wind speed of 12 m/s at 330 degrees around the Pt. Arena buoy. We circled the buoy at three incidence angles, and all data when plotted as functions of azimuth angles show clear modulations of several Kelvin. At 40 degrees incidence angle, there is a 5 Kelvin peak-to-peak signal in the second Stokes parameter Q and the third Stokes parameter U. The Q data maximum is in the upwind direction and U has a 45 degrees phase shift in azimuth as predicted by theory. There is also an up/downwind asymmetry of 2 Kelvin in the Q data, and 1 Kelvin in the U data. At 50 degrees incidence angle, the collected data show very similar wind direction signatures to the SSM/I model function. Additional flights were made on other days under cloudy conditions. Data taken at a wind speed of 8 m/s show that at 40 degrees incidence Q and U have a smaller azimuthal modulation of 3 Kelvin, probably due to the lower wind speed. Additionally, the simultaneously recorded video images of sea surfaces suggested that Q and U data were less sensitive to unpolarized geophysical variations, such as clouds and whitecaps, while the T(v) and T(h) increased by a few Kelvin when the radiometer beam crossed over clouds, or there was a sudden increase of whitecaps in the radiometer footprint. The results of our aircraft flights indicate that passive polarimetric radiometry has a strong potential for global ocean wind speed and direction measurements from space.